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Through Instructional Excellence Fellowship, TFA St. Louis prepares participants to lead high-performing classrooms and supports them to build their networks to increase their impact. 

Research shows that the classroom teacher is the single most significant factor in driving student academic growth and learning. But many teachers feel that after their first few years in the classroom they don’t have as many opportunities to grow their skill and education network.

The Instructional Excellence Fellowship (IEF) is designed to accelerate participants’ teaching skills and build their network of experienced, equity-focused educators, leading to stronger student outcomes and tenure in the classroom.

Since its launch in 2021, the Instructional Excellence Fellowship and STEM PLC has supported nearly 30 teachers from over a dozen schools across the St. Louis region, the majority of whom are still teaching in local schools. For our 2021-22 cohort, 100% of participants shared they would recommend IEF to others. Furthermore, 100% of fellows are still working in education in St. Louis with 82% still in the classroom and 18% moving into school or district leadership. 

Our 14 2022-2023 fellows, represent 11 schools across 9 districts in St. Louis. 64% of participants identify as coming from an underrepresented background (BIPOC, low-income background, and/or first in family to attend college). So far, 100% of participants would recommend the program to a fellow educator, 100% can apply what they learn directly to their classroom, and 92% find the program a good use of their time. One fellow shared “connecting with other educational leaders and exchanging knowledge off-bat completely confirmed that this was going to be a great program.”


Recommended the program to a fellow educator


Continued working in education in St. Louis


Remain in the classroom


Moved into school or district leadership

Program Components:

The Instructional Excellence Fellowship is an 8 month program with more than 45 hours of programming focused on two main outcomes:

  1. Improve participants’ teaching practice in service of students
  2. Expand participants’ network and community of educators 

Program components include:

  • Monthly sessions aligned to the TNTP core teaching rubric
  • Content-specific PLC break out sessions
  • Visits to local schools to learn from

Other information:

  • Participants receive a $1,000 stipend for completing the program and an additional $500 teacher retention bonus for committing to teaching the following school year
  • Participants may be asked to miss up to 2 days of school/work to participate in school visits
“This program has helped me to gather resources and gain perspectives from other teachers on topics across the region. The best impact was being able to use what I learned in the session the very next day in class.”

2021 Fellow

Application Process

Ideal candidates for the Instructional Excellence Fellowship are equity-focused teachers with 3+ years of teaching experience and are committed to growing their skillset and professional network. They have the support of their principal or manager to participate in this fellowship.

More information coming soon on 2023-2024 applications. See our Info Session Recording from last year for more details on the application process.